JPMorgan’s Dimon defies Biden: ‘China is not a natural enemy’


The U.S. needs to engage with China and view it as a competitor rather than a hostile power, said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

“China is not a natural enemy of the United States,” he told Bloomberg Television in an interview Thursday. 

China has a different view of the world than the U.S., Dimon added, but it has the right to protect its interests and national security just as the U.S. does. Ostracizing China is not the way forward. 

“I think it’s the right thing for America to fully and deeply engage with China competitively,” he told Bloomberg. 

Although it’s unclear exactly how many employees JPMorgan has in China, the bank has done business in the country for more than a century, according to its website. In recent years the company has even expanded its business in China. In 2021, the China Securities Regulatory Commission approved a registration by the bank that made it the first foreign firm to fully own a securities venture in China. 

The $583 billion bank CEO’s comments come after President Biden hit China with new tariffs this week targeting electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, and other imports. The Biden administration claims that the new tariffs won’t harm the U.S.-China relationship but will keep cheap, foreign-made products from dominating the U.S. market, especially when it comes to EVs. Yet, Chinese officials have already voiced their displeasure about the move. The Chinese embassy spokesperson called the tariffs “self-defeating,” and detrimental to both countries’ climate goals. 

In a separate interview with the U.K.-based Sky News on Wednesday, Dimon said Biden’s recent tariffs will ramp up the tension between the U.S. and China, but the relationship “doesn’t have to be war. It could be tough competition.” The U.S. and China also have shared interests on some issues including the climate, anti-nuclear proliferation, and antiterrorism efforts, Dimon said. 

“As long as China is kind of on the side of Russia, we’re going to have a hard time,” Dimon told Sky News. 

While the chief executive told Bloomberg “he’s not suited for politics,” Dimon tends to speak with a sense of stateliness about geopolitical issues, in part because of his bank’s global reach. And people tend to listen. Still, he declined a previous offer by former president Donald Trump to be Treasury Secretary, and he added Thursday that a jump to politics isn’t on his radar.

“I love my job,” Dimon told Bloomberg. “So I’m not sure I want to do something like that.”

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